What could you do with 3 more hours a day?
A major challenge facing government agencies is the effective management of documents. Traditionally for public sector employees, the idea of document management brings to mind an extremely slow, tedious, and inefficient process. Today, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can automate processes and give your agency more time for the most mission centric tasks. Without ECM, employees are subject to ever-expanding stacks of forms, papers, and contracts with no system to help manage case-related workloads. That’s why GovLoop and Hyland hosted an online training to discuss how ECM can transform your agency and set the foundation for future government transformation. If you’d like to download some the resources discussed, visit Hyland’s website http://info.hyland.com/GovLoop.html. You can also view the on-demand session below and read a quick recap of what was awesome and noteworthy:
Case Study: ECM Implementation at a New York State Agency
Donna Canestraro, Program Director, Center for Technology in Government/University at Albany, explained the impact ECM can have on a government agency. Canestraro described a six-month pilot process the Center for Technology Government enacted at a state agency. Canestraro shared insights learned from this case. She noted, “There is always a rush to implementation, but we recommend beginning with a prototype.” Canestraro added that when implementing a pilot process administrators should begin with a phased approach. Specifically, Canestraro described ECM implementation through three distinct phases: a modest approach, a moderate approach, and an elaborate approach. Agencies should ask themselves which approach fits their document management needs, and then consider how they can move from each phase to the next.
Proper document management is the core to an effective, efficient and transparent agency. ECM can help reduce error and cut costs, “there is a lack of confidence in the paper-based system across the board,” Canestraro notes.
Case Study: ECM At A Crossroads
The second presenter, Jesse Wilkins, Director, Research and Development, AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), shared a number of enlightening statistics based on surveys conducted by AIIM. Twenty-five to 30 percent of the respondents of this survey were government agencies. With regard to ECM, Wilkins was surprised (as was I) that compliance has taken the lead over cost as the main driver for effective document management. As Wilkins pointed out, “Agencies find that ECM ensures better compliance. In light of new and increased government regulation such as the Banking Act and Affordable Care Act, agencies have begun to prioritize compliance.” Wilkins also used his own career as a teleworker (AIIM is based in Silver Spring, Wilkins works out of Denver) as another motivation for ECM and digitization. “If I need a document on paper, it needs to be couriered to me or I need to fly to Maryland to read it.” Even for die-hard fans of airplane peanuts, opening a PDF in your own home or office is preferable to a business trip or time spent rifling through a dusty file cabinet.
“The issue of ECM is not whether it is ‘better’ than paper,” Wilkins pointed out. He continued, “The issue is which system ensures faster responsiveness to constituents, which ensures better customer service, and which ensures better access for employees and more-informed decision making for agencies.”
Setting the Foundation for Government Transformation:
Terri Jones, Industry Marketing Manager – Government, Hyland, described effective document management as a process of three intertwining steps:
Jones shared her own story of why this issue is so important to her. Jones began a career in government because of a passion and dedication to public service. Yet, she found herself spending most of her time doing tedious paperwork. “The struggles and tasks of redundant paperwork can suck the life out of you as a public servant,” Jones shared. “Individuals trained in community development or one-on-one case workers find themselves doing manual paperwork instead.” When Jones began working in the public sector she attended a training that drove home the message, “If there isn’t paper in the file, it didn’t happen.” Jones is eager to shift what she views as an archaic paradigm through ECM and other digitization of documents processes.
During the question and answer session, Jones was asked about how agencies can create a strategy to gain buy-in with reluctant employees. Jones said, “We did regular ‘breakfast with the geeks.’ We bribed employees with free breakfast and chocolate and offered them time to ask questions and address concerns with IT about transitioning to non-paper based processes.” These informal meetings served as a means to show the value of ECM, and how ECM technology will transform the way they work, for the better.
Jones emphasized that government cannot be transformed and public service cannot be improved if agencies are still wasting employees’ and constituents’ time on ineffective paper-based systems. In Hyland’s research, they found that employees spend an average of 3 hours a day on paperwork. Jones asked us all, “What could you do with three hours a day?” With effective document management, employees can leave document management to technology, and work on the most mission centric projects to transform how their agency delivers services.
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OnBase is a proven enterprise content management solution for each level of government, helping each meet today’s challenges of smaller budgets and staffs while laying the foundation for simplified, efficient and mobile government information technology. To learn more, visit Hyland's resources page on GovLoop.